Linking Career Anxiety with Suicide Tendencies among University Undergraduates

Charity N. Onyishi1, *
1 Department of Educational Psychology, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

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© 2023 Charity N. Onyishi

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Educational Psychology, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa; E-mail:



Suicide is increasingly becoming a worldwide public health issue. The issue of suicide in universities is one of the most pressing concerns in Nigeria and the world. Yet, it has not been clear the factors that account for increased suicide among university students. This study investigated the link between career anxiety and suicidal tendencies among university undergraduates.


The study was cross-sectional correlational and used a sample of 3,501 undergraduates in Nigeria. Career anxiety was measured using the two-factor career anxiety scale (CAS -2). At the same time, suicide tendencies were weighed using the Multi-attitude Suicide Tendency Scale (MAST), and Suicidal Ideation Attributes Scales (SIDAS).


Data collected were analyzed using percentages to interpret demographic data. Mean and standard deviation was presented for descriptive purposes. Linear regression was used to explore the links between career anxiety and suicidal tendencies at p < 0.05 level of significance. Results indicated that a high level of career anxiety was significantly correlated with increased suicidal tendencies, such as repulsion for life, attraction to death, and suicidal ideation. A low level of career anxiety was associated with decreased suicidal tendencies, characterized by an increased attitude toward attraction to life and repulsion to death.


It was concluded that students with problematic career anxiety are likely to report a negative attitude toward life, which leads to increased suicidal ideation. Accordingly, career anxiety may cause one to seriously consider or contemplate suicide.

Keywords: Career anxiety, Suicide tendencies, University undergraduates, Public health issue, Death, MAST.